Sunday, October 13, 2013

Browns' defeat has many fathers

It's not all your fault, Brandon.
Browns fans have short fuses and long memories. One bad game - hell, one bad quarter - is often all it takes for us to turn on a player, particularly if that person is a quarterback, a position that for all intents and purposes has been vacant ever since Bill Belichick determined that Bernie Kosar's skills had diminished. 

It's quite possible that this town will never forget the pass Brandon Weeden threw at the 4:36 mark of the fourth quarter in today's 31-17 loss against the Lions. That is, Weeden's flippy backhand schoolyard throw will be archived and wondered over on the North Coast until the sun itself expands and engulfs the earth in a final conflagration of molten death. At the very least, Weeden's self-proclaimed "boneheaded"  late-game interception will be mulled over and examined and discussed until the inevitable moment his locker is fumigated and he's given a plane ticket to Anywhere U.S.A.

However, today's disheartening defeat had many fathers, even if Weeden's terrible toss was the granddaddy of them all. Fans don't need to forget (or forgive) Weeden for a play that epitomized his failed tenure under center, but it wasn't his fault that the Browns only ran the ball five time in the second half, or that the middle of Ray Horton's defense was sliced up by Reggie Bush and some quick decision-making by Detroit QB Matthew Stafford.

Though we may be sick of Weeden's confused bumpkin face, poor pocket presence, and the way his eyes magnetize onto a single receiver, the team's 100-plus yards worth of penalties and lack of offensive creativity in the second half should not be laid entirely at the rangy redhead's door.

Don't get it twisted: Weeden is done in Cleveland, and rightly so. It's agonizing to watch him go through his slow-motion progressions, and he simply doesn't have the mental fortitude to survive the speed of NFL defenses. Still, today's loss was a full team effort, and that's something Browns fans must remember.